What little we are now hearing about life of 3 young women who were abducted and held captive for 10 years in the basement of a Cleveland home supports our worst instinctive nightmares.
One of the 3 women, Amanda Berry, escaped captivity with a 6-year-old daughter, Jocelyn. According to one report, Amanda gave birth in an inflatable kiddie pool and the other girls may have acted as midwives. There are stories of one of the girls having 5 miscarriages that may have been the result of physical violence from the suspect, Ariel Castro.
Today, Castro was charged with 4 criminal complaints of kidnapping and 3 criminal complaints of rape. If any of the girls had miscarriages due to physical violence, Castro could be facing multiple counts of murder. Castro will be arraigned tomorrow and a grand jury could bring additional charges. Amazing as it seems, Ariel’s two brothers, Onil and Pedro Castro, have not been charged in the case. It’s hard to believe that the 2 brothers would not have known the girls were being held captive in the house for 10 years.
Today, there was jubilation with the return of two of the young women to their families. One of the three remains in the hospital in ‘good condition’. But today’s jubilation was shrouded by the early stories of what these young women endured for 10 years. Chains, locks and ropes were among the 200 pieces of evidence removed from the home on Seymour St. in Cleveland and this is just the beginning of a pending investigation that is sure to lead us all to wonder how such a ‘monster’ could live among us.
Authorities can release little information since this is investigation is pending, but it is believed that the girls were only allowed out of the house on two brief occasions and their first time to escape was the other night when Amanda got the attention of a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, as she screamed for help from inside the house.
It is also now believed that these 3 young girls got in the car with Ariel Castro and he used names the girls were familiar with the win their confidence and lure them into his car.
One of the first lessons parents teach their children is not to “talk to strangers” and “never get in a car with anyone you don’t know.” It’s scary to think that all 3 of these girls may have willingly gotten in a car that would drive them to 10 years of sexual captivity.
Use this actual story as a teaching moment. Talk to your kids about what happened and how it’s believed the girls got in a car with someone they too quickly trusted. This could have been anyone’s daughters.
We are also hearing from neighbors that there were times the police were called about suspicious activity at Castro’s home, though the police say they have no records of past complaints. The neighborhood where the girls were held captive is described as a ‘tough’ neighborhood where crime is a problem.
Could law enforcement have paid less attention to a neighborhood that was less affluent? That’s a question the Cleveland police will have to answer. Law enforcement can never be biased. Every person in American, rich, poor, black, Hispanic, white – all deserve the benefit of the doubt that their reports of odd behavior will be taken seriously. And it seems obvious that these girls should have been considered ‘missing’ and not just runaways. Even in the ‘tough’ neighborhoods in Cleveland, or here in New Orleans, there are good, honest people who need and, most of all, deserve equal police attention and protection.
Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who responded to Amanda Berry’s cries for help is a hero! There was reward money for the safe return of these girls and he said that he has a job and the money should go to the girls. He deserves reward money and his attitude is part of what makes him a true hero.
I’ve heard that Amanda Berry’s 6-year-old daughter was “born in captivity” – that’s not a phrase that should ever be used to describe the birth of a human baby.
The more we learn about this horrific case and the specifics of what happened to these young girls, who are now young women, the more we will once again be shocked by reprehensible behavior of a human being.
Mr Charles Ramsey needs recognition he could have kept walking by the house and not get involved at all.
Narcissism or vulnerability?
Is it a question of shame to admit to such predatory dark ambitions, the inability to come clean even to oneself about one’s own behavior even to the point where Castro still has the temerity in the end to blame his victims for getting in the car with him when he abducted them rather than that of his own actions? Does one suppose in the end that what gave Castro courage was the vulnerability of his victims rather than his own? But isn’t that always the dynamic between master and servant, where the master disguises his victim’s vulnerability in the place of his own?
How about someone with many millions to spend post bond for this guy and give him a ride to a place no one will find and chain him up in a basement? Justice shouldn't sink as low as Castro did, but I feel he should waste away in a basement like this, with enough food delivered to him to keep him alive and healthy enough to spend at least a decade of his life there before he dies, and hopefully much more. Call me sadistic, but he deserves far worse.
"justice in jail"
It has always been implied that prisoners have their
own "justice" system in prison against the accused that
have injured or killed children and the elderly. I wonder
if Mr. Castro is being kept isolated from the general
population of prisoners.